Paying beneficiaries' inheritance into Court

I currently have 2 estate beneficiaries who have advised that they would like to receive their inheritance, but are refusing to supply proof of ID. This has been ongoing for some time. For the purpose of closing my file, I have heard that it’s possible to pay funds into the Court to later be claimed by those beneficiaries however I could find no information about this online.

Alex Stanier
Allan Janes LLP

Is this a thing and/or does anyone have any wise suggestions for this situation?

Can the executor specifically confirm their ID?

Julian Cohen

Simons Rodkin Solicitors LLP

An application to make a payment into court is generally seen as an action of last resort.

Before authorising a payment in, the court may direct further enquiries be made. The costs of the application and any further enquiries are at the discretion of the court and may not necessarily be awarded against the recalcitrant beneficiary, either in full or in part, even if the application is successful.

Are you satisfied that the persons with whom you are in contact are, in fact, the beneficiaries? If you are so satisfied, do you know why they are unwilling, or unable, to provide appropriate ID to comply with your AML procedures?

It may be worthwhile notifying the beneficiaries that consideration is being given to paying the monies into court which, it if goes ahead, will likely reduce the value of their inheritance. Even if this does not result in you receiving the appropriate proof of ID, it might at least encourage them to assist you in understanding why they have not complied with your requests.

Paul Saunders

I am not up to date with anti money laundering, but do the regulations actually require this?

Simon Northcott

To follow on from what Julian has said, would the executor be happy for you to transfer the funds to them, and for them in turn to distribute to the beneficiary (assuming that your firm isn’t the executor)?

Eddie Bell
McMillan Williams

In this case the execs do not know the beneficiaries, who had to be tracked down by an agent. Whilst my gut told me they were the right people, I’m not sure our indemnity insurer would accept that in my defence if I paid the money out without checking (which is why I always ask for ID unless giving the money to the executor - I do not think this is a ML issue).

I actually wrote this post a little while ago, and at the same time wrote to them as you suggested Paul. Funnily enough that did the trick, and I now have ID!

Many thanks for your help.

Alex Stanier
Alan Janes LLP

Good to learn that the matter has been resolved.

I wonder, though, if the tracing agent has let you down as I would have expected them to verify the individual’s identity before reporting that they had located the beneficiary. Without them having obtained the ID themselves, how could the agent report with confidence?

Paul Saunders